Thought for the Week
9 Nov 2017
“Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (ESV)
These words of Jesus, spoken to His Disciples during the Last Supper on the night before He was crucified have provided much comfort over the years to those who have suffered as a result of war. These words can sometimes be found on or near to Remembrance memorials in churches and in villages, towns and cities around the world where the fallen are remembered.
On Sunday 12th, it will be Remembrance Sunday. This Year, it is also the Centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 from March to October when so many young lives were tragically and most cruelly ended as part of the wider conflict of the Great War. We are continuing this theme of Remembrance during this week as we celebrate our own Act of Remembrance here in St Bede’s and members of our Community here will be joining with other pupils and Staff from the MAC for a special service of Remembrance at St Augustine’s Catholic High School Academy on 10th November. We pray for all those who have died in all wars, past and present both members of the Armed Forces and civilians.
We pray for all who have suffered and all who continue to suffer. We pray that we may become people of reconciliation and peace and with God’s help look to the future to a time when war and conflict happen no more. There is a beautiful passage taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, in the Old Testament, which looks forward to a world full of peace and reconciliation with all people living in peace with each other and with God. The promise is they will turn their weapons of war into agricultural tools and gardening implements in the following verses: “He (The LORD) will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4 NIV
On Saturday this week, it is Armistice Day when on the 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month in 1918 the armistice between the Allies of World War One and Germany were signed at Compiegne, France to end the hostilities and fighting. The guns fell silent after four long years of war, devastation and appalling loss of life. In Remembrance, we shall pause for 2 minutes silence. During this time, let us remember all who have died and have been injured – and their families and friends– and commit ourselves to be people of peace and love as we seek to imitate Jesus in our daily lives.
It is a poignant time of reflection on the courage and sacrifice of so many who gave their lives to secure our freedom. Let us commit our lives to the Prince of Peace, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who for our freedom suffered and gave His precious life for us upon the Cross at Calvary and who rose again to bring about this peace.
They shall grow not old as we who are left grow old.
age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
Laurence Binyon “For the fallen.”
“When you go home, tell them of us and say; ‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’
From the Kohima epitaph, Kohima, India
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them,
may they rest in peace. Amen.
From the prayers of the Dead for November